Starting a business and getting all of the promotional details in place is a bit of a juggling act. When I was given the opportunity to speak at TSOT's inaugural Ruby / Rails Presentation Night, I decided that January 8th 2008 would be the day to launch the site and announce the company.
Early January is a difficult time for getting things done - the Holiday season keeps people busy, especially printers, designers, server admins, and web hosts. This year's GST change kept me busy too, since not only did all of my business applications have to be updated and tested to reflect the new rate, but much more order volume went through in the weeks leading up to the new year (i.e. Christmas 'vacation') as new price signage had to be produced.
So enough excuses - Presentation Night came and I didn't have much of a site. Why did I put it up anyhow?
One has to decide on priorities. Priority #1 was making sure my existing systems all supported the new GST rate, and some other customers were kept happy. Priority #2 was to work on the presentation - messing up a live presentation in front of my peers would make a far worse impression (and be more personally embarrassing) than having a few early visitors see a bare-bones website.
I decided that I couldn't miss the promotion opportunity with TSOT's PR machine and Joey deVilla, so it would be better to have some kind of site rather than nothing. A website can change and grow, but a Google PageRank-heavy linking opportunity only comes every so often. The website can become more impressive later - as long as the URL stays the same, the links still help. Also, I wanted to have some kind of momentum from the presentation, which would fizzle if I didn't have at least something on the web.
I had always planned to focus this site on the blog and news items - it's more a live source than 'brochureware'. So, getting the blog and news releases set up and functioning is more important than a polished design. When I do get the design updated (some time in the next week or so I hope) I'll actually have real content to complement it.
In Getting Real, 37Signals recommends get something real up and running quickly. Now that the site is out in public and getting visitors, I have a lot more motivation (embarrassment is a great motivator!) to make it better - and quickly.